Bus fire snuffs out young lives, cuts short dreams; Volvo to help in probe
Hyderabad/Bangalore, Oct 30 (IANS): The horrific bus fire in Mahabubnagar district Wednesday snuffed out many young lives, plunging their families into gloom on the eve of Diwali.
Some of them working in Bangalore were returning home to celebrate the festival of lights while some young software professionals were shifting to Hyderabad for a better career.
As many as 45 people were killed and five injured when the Volvo bus belonging to Jabbar Travels and coming to Hyderabad from Bangalore caught fire after hitting a culvert near Palem in Mahabubnagar district.
Majority of those on the ill-fated bus were in their 20s and 30s. Four women and a baby were among the dead.
Software engineer A. Ravi, 27, was one of the young professionals, whose dreams were cut short by the tragedy. He was coming to Hyderabad to join multinational company Accenture. Ravi, a native of Narsipatnam in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, was working in another company in Bangalore.
According to Ravi's friends, he was waiting for an offer letter from another multinational company in Bangalore and since it was delayed he decided to shift to Hyderabad and join Accenture.
N. Roohia, an employee of Info Technologies here, was another young software professional who lost her life in the mishap. She had gone to Bangalore for some work and was returning to the city.
Twenty seven-year-old K. Vedapati, working as an accountant in a bank in Bangalore, was coming home to celebrate Diwali. A native of Nizamabad district, he was married in November last year.
"He informed wife and parents that he is coming for festival but we received the shocking news this morning that the bus caught fire," said one of his relatives trying to identify him in the charred remains of the victims.
Akshay Singh, 28, a software engineer employed in Bangalore, was to come home Oct 26 for his birthday but postponed the visit so as to celebrate Diwali with his family in Hyderabad. A pall of gloom descended on his house at Chikkadpally here.
G.B. Sundara Raju, 54, and his wife Vijaya Kumari of Guntur district were among the victims. The couple, who was staying with his son in Bangalore, was on its way to Hyderabad for treatment.
Golf coach Yogesh Kumar is one of the five injured in the accident. According to doctors at DRDO Apollo Hospital, his condition is critical.
One of the victims, Venkatesh Yadav, was president of the Chiranjeevi Fans' Association in Bangalore, formed by ardent admirers of former Telugu mega star and union tourism minister.
Yadav was travelling to Hyderabad with his sister Anita, who too perished in the bus fire.
Volvo to help in bus disaster probe
Swedish transport vehicle major AB Volvo has offered to help state agencies investigating the fiery mishap involving a luxury bus of its make in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday in which 45 passengers were burnt to death.
"A team from our company will visit the accident spot to gather facts. We will offer full cooperation to the authorities and agencies investigating the mishap," Volvo's Indian subsidiary said in a statement here.
The luxury coach, built by the city-based subsidiary, was being operated by leading private transport carrier Jabbar Travels from Bangalore to Hyderabad, about 600 km away, through National Highway 7.
The accident took place involving a Volvo intercity coach at Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district, about 130 km from Hyderabad.
"At this juncture, we are not in a position to represent the sequence or cause of the incident as investigation is being carried by the authorities concerned," the statement added.
Volvo's air-conditioned buses are one of the popular modes of inter-city and intra-city transport services across the country.
Siddaramaiah expresses shock
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed shock over the ghastly disaster and mourned the victims, offering his condolences to the bereaved families.
"I have directed the Raichur deputy commissioner to help the victims' relatives to transport their bodies to Bangalore and offered to provide relief to them," Siddaramaiah said in a statement.
"I pray to the Almighty to give strength and courage to the grieving families to bear the loss," he said.
Raichur, about 500 km from Bangalore, is the border district across Mahabubnagar in the northern region of the state.
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the homes of some of the victims here as nearly 30 of the passengers boarded the bus late Tuesday from the transport firm's office in the city centre.